Restaurant’s nightlife targeted by ordinance; vote slated for Monday

WEST NEW YORK — Mayor Felix Roque and the West New York Town Commissioners will vote on an ordinance on Monday, Nov. 21, that would require any restaurant or bar within 100 feet of the neighborhood surrounding popular restaurant/nightclub Son Cubano to close by 11:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and midnight Friday and Saturday.
Son Cubano and a neighboring pizzeria, Lusso, would be the only two businesses affected by this ordinance. Son Cubano normally stays open until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and often has live music, which has been a source of the local complaints that inspired Roque to proposed the ordinance in May when he was elected as West New York’s new mayor.
Co-owner of Son Cubano, Alex Duran, told the Reporter Tuesday that this ordinance will cause a 15 to 25 percent loss in revenue for his establishment, and will make it far more difficult to pay off the $2.4 million he and his brother sunk into the place when they opened in back in December of 2005.
“I have a son to put through college and a huge loan to pay back,” Duran said. “This ordinance is a big, big mistake.”
Duran stated he believes it to be more than a coincidence that the engineers who drew up the ordinance stopped around 10 feet before P.F. Chang’s, another popular restaurant/bar in the neighborhood. Because they lie outside of the ordinance, they will be able to continue to stay open until 2 a.m.
He also stated that he requested an audience with Roque to discuss matters around 20 times, but received no response.
“I don’t think Roque has anything against me–I just think his inexperience has gotten him into trouble,” he said.
Duran appeared on Spanish radio 1380, WADO, on Sunday, Nov. 6 and said he has garnered a lot of support from the community as a result. He also has a website ( where the ordinance is posted and visitors can sign a petition against the ordinance.
Roque told the Reporter on Tuesday that residents complained about the establishment when he was campaigning, and this “part of my campaign promise–to bring back the respect residents lost when Son Cubano came along.”
Roque said the restaurant used a Trojan Horse tactic by positing itself as a restaurant when it is more of a nightclub, even though Duran stated he made it very clear there would be live music.
Roque said of Alex, “He’s a very nice guy. I hate to ruin his business; it’s not my intention. But I’m looking at the bigger picture and my interest lies with the residents.”
In response to Duran’s attempts to contact him, Roque said they were made after litigation had begun and that his attorney advised against it. He hopes to find a middle ground with Son Cubano, but through proper legal channels.
“I had to put my foot down and bring back the decency the community lost,” he said.
The ordinance will be voted on this coming Monday, Nov. 21 at 6 p.m. at the West New York Middle School.

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